Mixed Media

Doug Staker, Santiago Michalek, Plein Air Festivals, Katherine Heigl

6/14 SLTRIB: A Utah architect, inspired by LGBTQ stories, makes a walk-through art project

Doug Staker’s moveable art project — a walk-through “sacred space” he calls “Sanctuary” — is designed to celebrate belonging. Staker said he was motivated to create the project by personal stories from family and friends.

“I have a brother who’s gay, and we were a very Mormon family,” Staker said. “We just found this kind of conflict arising between family, and it was difficult assessing what that meant.”

Staker, who grew up in Utah, is an architect who runs his own firm, Squaremoon Studio, in Salt Lake City and an artist. “I’ve always been interested in art and, really, that’s what got me into architecture,” he said. “I just wanted to do art.”


6/14 DESERET NEWS: How 2 Utah artists are creating careers for themselves

Two things that don’t traditionally go hand in hand are football and art.

But Talavou “Vou” Malietoa Fitisemanu III found purpose in both. As his LinkedIn profile puts it, he’s an “athlete turned artist.”

Born in Los Angeles, Fitisemanu moved to Navu, Samoa, at age 4. His dad is originally from the Polynesian island, and his mom is from the neighboring island of Tonga. At 8, his family returned to the United States, where he went on to play college football at Snow College, rugby at Brigham Young University and then football again at the University of Utah.


6/12 Utah’s plein air art festivals: Where to go to view—or attempt—the tradition of outdoor painting

In early 1860s France, four young art students discovered they shared an infatuation for painting landscapes and contemporary life. Together they would visit the local countryside, pull out their paint tubes and box easels and paint in the open air, or “en plein air.” Their desire to beautifully express light and its transitory qualities soon became known as Impressionism, and sparked an adoration for painting outdoors.

Today, artists working in the plein air tradition gather together to share their passion for painting at events called “Paint Outs.” These outdoor art galas are popular with not only established artists and patrons, but also amateur enthusiasts and aspiring newcomers.



6/3 DESERET NEWS: Katherine Heigl credits living in Utah as the inspiration behind her ‘Mother Nature’ art exhibition

Katherine Heigl, known for her roles in “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Firefly Lane,” launched her first solo art exhibition, “Mother Nature,” at Gallery MAR in Park City on May 31.

The exhibit offered a journey into the natural world, showcasing Heigl’s mixed media portraits of animals and people immersed in nature.

Heigl’s husband, musician and songwriter Josh Kelley, also displayed his leatherwork art, featuring pieces such as a saddle and animal portraits.


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